Rancho Bernardo High School

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Coordinates: 32°59′43.10″N 117°03′57.91″W / 32.9953056°N 117.0660861°W / 32.9953056; -117.0660861

Rancho Bernardo High School
13010 Paseo Lucido
San Diego, California

United States
Type Public high school
Established September 1990
School district Poway Unified School District
Principal David LeMaster[1]
Grades 9–12
Enrollment 2252[2] (2013)
Color(s) Blue, White, and Silver             
Team name Broncos
Yearbook Legends
Newspaper The Silver Spur

Rancho Bernardo High School, or RBHS, is a public high school in the Poway Unified School District of San Diego County, California. Rancho Bernardo High School opened in September 1990 as the district's third high school. There are approximately 2,300 students in grades 9 through 12, and approximately 101 faculty members.[citation needed]


The school computes grades on an A-F system. Starting with the 2007–2008 school year, the high school stopped providing rankings on school transcripts, but are supposedly starting one again after several requests from parents.[citation needed]

Academic League[edit]

For the last few years, Rancho Bernardo’s Academic League teams have seldom lost a match, and in 2008, all three teams, Freshman, JV, and Varsity, were undefeated in the regular season and went on to take the league title in the playoffs.[3] The 2008 freshman team was captained by Madilena Mendiola, and the other starters were Ilene Chen, Vivian Yu, and Kevin Hsieh. Other members included Albert Liang, Scarlett Chen, and Kelley Luyken. Their coaches were varsity players Jeffrey Mihalik and Brenda Lin. In the final round of the playoffs, they defeated Westview High School with a score of 101-32.

The 2008 JV team was captained by Anurag Kashyap, the 2005 champion of the Scripps National Spelling Bee, and other members included Oleg Stens (starter), Jarred Mihalik (starter), Zhao Zhang (starter), Jennifer Ding, Alex Chang, Haochi Shi (starter), Noopur Gupta, Sumukh Sathnur (starter), Elle Keck, Tiffany Dharma, Julia Brown, Kevin Chang, and Casey Sumner. Their coach was AP European History teacher Dan Lutgen. They defeated Torrey Pines high school in the final round of the playoffs with a score of 114-92.

The 2008 varsity team was led by Jeffrey Mihalik and captained by Brenda Lin. The other starters were Roscoe Huo, Michael Shen, and Jason Heath. The other varsity players were Shashank Churukanti, Andy Leu, and Madison Donoghue. Their coaches were Dan Lutgen and AP Physics teacher Yvonne Eibeck. They edged out archenemy Westview in the final round of the playoffs with a score of 108-93.

School Safety[edit]

According the California Department of Education and a Channel 8 news report (October 2012) Rancho Bernardo High School is considered the third safest high school in San Diego county. The report based the rankings on the schools with the lowest violence and drug rates based on suspension statistics.[4]


Rancho Bernardo is a Division I school competing in the Palomar League against Poway High School, Mount Carmel High School, Westview High School, Torrey Pines High School, and Canyon Crest Academy. The school's sports teams go by the name "The Broncos". Their school colors are blue, silver, and white.

Some famous athletes to come from Rancho Bernardo are MLB baseball players Cole Hamels, and Hank Blalock. Rancho Bernardo High School has a reputation for being heavily focused on baseball. According to the book Moneyball, Rancho Bernardo is known in baseball circles as "The Factory" due to the consistent quality of players being produced from its program and later going on to either college, minor, or major leagues. MLB First draft picks include Mike Walters (1992) Houston Astros, Jaime Jones (1995) Florida Marlins; Matt Wheatland (2000) Detroit Tigers; Cole Hamels (2002), Danny Putnam 2001 graduate (2004 out of Stanford University), Allan Dykstra (2008), Gosuke Katoh 2013 graduate (drafted 66th overall by the New York Yankees), and Alex Jackson 2014 graduate (drafted 6th overall by the Seattle Mariners, highest overall pick from Rancho Bernardo).

Instrumental Music Program[edit]

Rancho Bernardo Royal Regiment[edit]

Their marching band, the Royal Regiment, is under the direction of Duane Otani. The Royal Regiment has nearly 200 students participating, which consists of the band, the percussion, and the color guard. During the fall, they compete in several tournaments in San Diego County and one in Los Angeles county, the Arcadia tournament. Each time that the Mount Carmel tournament has taken place in the last fourteen years (it did not take place in 2007 due to the Witch Creek fire and the other fires that were devastating San Diego county), they have won the top award in every category of judgment, and earned numerous sweepstakes. At the Arcadia tournament, one of the largest in Southern California, they have won the Grand Sweepstakes: Championship award (the tournament’s highest honor) as well as “The Mace,” the top honor for the marching segment of the competition, without an upset for over a decade. In 2013, the Royal Regiment won 1st place (gold) at the SCSBOA 6A Championships. They have also been hosting the Rancho Bernardo High School Field Tournament since 2008.

Concert Band[edit]

During the spring season, the students get separated into 3 bands; Concert Band II, Concert Band I, and Wind Ensemble, based on audition. Their Wind Ensemble is one of the most premier bands in the region.


Broomstick incident[edit]

In a 1997 incident, three baseball players pleaded guilty to sodomizing a new teammate with a broom handle in the locker room after a game. The school district paid $675,000 to settle the claim and the three players were sentenced to time in juvenile hall. The students stated there was a tradition of hazing in which older team members would threaten to rape incoming freshmen players, or would perform simulated rape.[5]

Underwear incident[edit]

In April 2002, one of the school's assistant principals forced female students at a school dance to lift their clothing and expose their underwear, in search of G-strings and thongs. The district said the reason for the check was to "ensure appropriate school dress."[6] Rita Wilson, the assistant principal involved in this incident, was later demoted to a teaching position.[7]

Noose incident[edit]

In November 2007, a noose along with written racial slurs were found inside the school's performing arts center.[8] As of December 2007, Poway Unified School District administrators have confirmed that a student has been identified and now the hate crime has been recognized as a misunderstanding and no action has been taken.[9]

Hacking incident[edit]

In April and May 2008, eight students were identified for hacking into the school's website, downloading teacher files, distributing tests to students, and altering transcripts. Assistant Principal Keith Koelzer issued a memo to teachers regarding the students involved. The memo was later released to The San Diego Union-Tribune for printing.[10]

Graffiti incident[edit]

In November 2013, before a game vs Del Norte (a rival school) took place, the school was covered in swastikas, profane language, and other drawn obscenities. It was believed to be a student from Del Norte- however, it was eventually learned that the student attended Rancho Bernardo High School and action was taken against the student for his behavior.[11]

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